The mission of the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden is to display and bring to life the various cultures of our world, in particular cultures outside of Sweden, through the collection the organization manages. The collections are to be made available both nationally and globally, and this requires constant and active work through digital tools and channels.
We want to create the best possible conditions for the resources we manage to come to the most use possible. Therefore, we seek to remove as many barriers as possible from that which has previously hampered the free use of information and images of our collections. With the new policy, we release the potential of the materials and they can now be used for a wider scope of learning, development and creative use.
At the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden, open publication should be the first choice. Most of the texts, images and other resources we manage can be published marked with PD or CC:BY. We always indicate the name of the author if it is known to us.
- We will use PD (public domain) for any copyrighted material for which the copyright has expired. This applies to photographs, regardless of the author’s year of death, if they were produced before 1969 (here we refer to regular photographs, i.e. those which are not regarded as artworks); and for artistic works (all forms of expression) from January 1, seventy years after the author’s death. The same applies to, for example, audio recordings made by the organization, if they are over fifty years old.
- We will use CC: BY (Creative Commons: Attribution) for all copyrighted material where the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden holds the financial rights, such as texts, photographs and sound recordings produced by our museums, received as a gift or purchased with full disposal rights.
Materials that can not be made freely available as above will not be prioritized for digitization unless there are special reasons. Guidelines for exceptions and comments on our publication (including requests to unpublish materials) are handled by me as project manager of the World Culture Museums Digital. You are welcome to contact me at email@example.com!
Want to know more about open access at museums? Here is some recommended reading:
Rijksmuseum, The Netherlands
National Museum of Art (SMK), Denmark
Creative Commons, New Zealand
Johanna Berg is Project Manager of The Digital Museum at the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden. She has previously worked on digital heritage issues at The Swedish National Heritage Board and Digisam, a department under the National Archives.